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Not Sure How To Set Up A Weekly Money Routine? Read This Now.

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Not Sure How To Set Up A Weekly Money Routine? Read This Now.

When it comes to financial matters, sometimes we wish they would just go away. Sometimes it’s a matter of keeping it all organized: between the student loan bills, the house payment and the car payments, it can seem overwhelming. Other times, it’s about stretching what little there might be to go around. Whatever the issue, it’s important to set up a routine with your money. Setting up a routine sets you up for success and keeps you from being surprised each month that the Internet bill really has to be paid, yet again.

Here are some steps you can take to optimize your weekly money spending (and receiving) routine.

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1. Look over your expenses.

Go through each of your monthly expenses and categorize them. It’s important to set up priorities and determine how you want to pay your bills. Paying different bills each week will help you do this. If your rent is due on the first of the month, schedule that payment for the last week of every month and so forth. If you expect to pay a certain amount in bills at end of each week, you’ll be more mentally prepared for it when it happens.

2. Pay bills as they arrive.

Instead of blasting out a bunch of cash every payday, pay each bill as it arrives. You can do this very easily by automating your bill payments. Paying your bills this way keeps you from ever “missing” that money. However, send yourself a reminder before it happens! If you forget and you take that money out ahead of time, you might overdraft your account. Paying your bills on time keeps your credit score up and helps you keep ahead of any late fees or extra charges you might incur otherwise.

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3. Go over the budget and look for places to save.

Once you go over your expenses, if you feel like you’re struggling to make ends meet, look for places where you can save. If you’re not sure if there are expenses you can cut, try and write down all of your expenditures for one month in a notebook. All of them. Every latte you buy at a coffee shop and every magazine at a store. Write down every single time you spend money or swipe a card. Doing this will give you a real idea of where your money goes — and where you can cut back, if need be.

4. Keep a personal money statement going.

At the beginning of the month, start a monthly money statement. You can do this in a spreadsheet on the computer or just a piece of paper that you pin to the bulletin board. Write down your goals, such as paying towards a debt, saving money for an emergency fund, saving towards the purchase of a car, that sort of thing. Each week, square up the statement, writing down for each week how much you contributed to those accounts or saved towards a certain goal. Write down next to each goal the motivation to pursue that goal. Use a quote or statement of affirmation, if it helps. Try something like, “Pay yourself first. You’re worth it. And your grand kids will thank you.”

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5. Revamp your routine as necessary.

After an initial trial period, go over your routine and revamp it. Maybe paying that one bill at the beginning of the month just didn’t work out. Maybe you forgot about another bill. Perhaps you were a little ambitious with your saving plan. Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to adjust accordingly. And don’t forget to be flexible too. Life changes, you need to be able to adapt your weekly money routine to new things. Also, don’t forget to change a bit with the seasons. If you do a lot more visiting or vacationing in the summer, adjust your plan for that as well!

Featured photo credit: University of Utah via unews.utah.edu

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More by this author

Michelle Kennedy Hogan

Michelle is an explorer, editor, author of 15 books, and mom of eight.

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Last Updated on January 5, 2022

33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

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33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

In a difficult economy, most of us are looking for ways to put more money in our pockets, but we don’t want to feel like misers. We don’t want to drastically alter our lifestyles either. We want it fast and we want it easy. Small savings can add up and big savings can feel like winning the lottery, just without all of the taxes.

Some easy ways to save money:

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  1. Online rebate sites. Many online sites offer cash back rebates and online coupons as well. MrRebates and Ebates are two I like, but there are many others.
  2. Sign up for customer rewards. Many of your favorite stores offer customer rewards on products you already buy. Take advantage.
  3. Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. The extra cost up front is worth the energy savings later on.
  4. Turn off power strips and electronic devices when not in use.
  5. Buy a programmable thermostat. Set it to lower the heat or raise the AC when you’re not home.
  6. Make coffee at home. Those lattes and caramel macchiatos add up to quite a bit of dough over the year.
  7. Switch banks. Shop around for better interest rates, lower fees and better customer perks. Don’t forget to look for free online banking and ease of depositing and withdrawing money.
  8. Clip coupons: Saving a couple dollars here and there can start to add up. As long as you’re going to buy the products anyway, why not save money?
  9. Pack your lunch. Bring your lunch to work with you a few days a week, rather than buy it.
  10. Eat at home. We’re busier than ever, but cooking meals at home is healthier and much cheaper than take-out or going out. Plus, with all of the freezer and pre-made options, it’s almost as fast as drive-thru.
  11. Have leftovers night. Save your leftovers from a few meals and have a “leftover dinner.” It’s a free meal!
  12. Buy store brands: Many generic or store brands are actually just as good as name brands and considerably cheaper.
  13. Ditch bottled water. Drink tap water if it’s good quality, buy a filter if it’s not. Get 
      a reusable water bottle and refill it.
    • Avoid vending machines: The items are usually over-priced.
    • Take in a matinee. Afternoon movie showings are cheaper than evening times.
    • Re-examine your cable bill. Cancel extra cable or satellite channels you don’t watch. Watch the “on demand” movie purchases too.
    • Use online bill pay. Most banks offer free online bill paying. Save on stamps and checks, and avoid late fees by automating bill payment.
    • Buy frequently used items in bulk. You get a lower per item price and eliminate extra trips to the store later on.
    • Fully utilize the library. Borrowing books is much cheaper than buying them, but in addition to books, most local libraries now lend movies and games.
    • Cancel magazine/newspaper subscriptions: Re-evaluate your subscriptions. Cancel those you don’t read and consider reading some of the other publications online.
    • Get rid of your land-line. Do you really need a land-line anymore if everyone in the family has a cell phone? Alternatively, look into using VOIP or getting a cheaper plan.
    • Better fuel efficiency. Check the air pressure in your tires, keep up with proper auto maintenance, and slow down. Driving even 5MPH slower will result in better fuel mileage.
    • Increase your deductibles. Increasing the insurance deductibles on your homeowners and auto insurance policies lowers premiums significantly. Just make sure you choose a deductible that you can afford should an emergency happen.
    • Choose lunch over dinner. If you do want to dine out occasionally, go at lunchtime rather than dinnertime. Lunch prices are usually cheaper.
    • Buy used:  Whether it’s something small like a vintage dress or a video game or something big like a car or furniture, consider buying it used. You can often get “nearly new” for a fraction of the cost.
    • Stick to the list. Make a list before you go shopping and don’t buy anything that’s not on the list unless it’s a once in a lifetime, killer deal.
    • Tame the impulse. Use a self-enforced waiting period whenever you’re tempted to make an unplanned purchase. Wait for a week and see if you still want the item.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask. Ask to have fees waived, ask for a discount, ask for a lower interest rate on your credit card.
    • Repair rather than replace. You can find directions on how to fix almost anything on the internet. Do your homework, and then bring out your inner handyman.
    • Trade with your neighbors. Borrow tools or equipment that you use infrequently and swap things like babysitting with your neighbors.
    • Swap online. Use sites like PaperBack Swap to trade books, music, and movies with others online. Also, look for local community sites like Freecycle where people give away items they no longer need.
    • Cut back on the meat. Try eating a one or two meatless meals every week or cut back on the meat portions. Meat is usually the most expensive part of the meal.
    • Comparison shop: Get in the habit of checking prices before you buy. See if you can get a better price at another store or look online.

    Remember that saving money is not about being cheap or stingy; it’s about putting money into your bank account rather than giving it to someone else. There are many ways to save money, some you’ve never thought of, and some that won’t appeal or apply to you. Just pick a few of the ideas that sound doable and watch the savings add up. Save big, save small, but save wherever you can.

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    Featured photo credit: Damir Spanic via unsplash.com

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